Author Archives: 05 Anjali Patel

Research on Digital Design and Computation: CNC Mill

The scope of the research was to understand the CNC Mill economically, physically, and theoretically. The approach I took to the CNC Mill was exploring alternative applications to the apparatus. In particular I was intrigued by the work of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based engineer Aaron Panone. He managed to employ a 3-axis CNC machine for an artistic calling. For this university, industrial design, architecture, urban planning, and interior design mainly use the RPC/autoprofiler whereas fine arts, according the RPC, rarely makes an appearance to create digital fabrication projects. The research that I partook in would help to bring that part of DAAP to the RPC by learning from an example of retrofitting. What Aaron Panone did was to retrofit the CNC machine. He collaborated with Matt W. Moore (graphic designer), taking the vector graphics from Moore were converted into tool paths and then machine language, which controls the machine. A special fixture built by Panone holds a Sharpie mimicking the typical hand pressure during the act of drawing. The products of the process created amazing geometric prints each with the same precision, which could be valued, higher than a normal print in an economical sense since each line was actually drawn not just printed. A similar approach applied on a smaller scale can be seen with Piccolo, which is a pocket-sized stand-alone CNC platform. Once mass produced, Piccolo, for less than $70, you can assemble your personal Arduino compatible kit for tinkering, developing and deploying basic 3D output. Be it plotting a quick graffiti, printing a one-off business card, or multiple piccolos working together to create a large mural, this kit provides a platform for experimenting with 2D or 3D digital fabrication at a small scale. Still in the prototype phase, the makers behind piccolo are trying to alter it into an open-source design that is simple, quick to assemble, and easy to use, and entirely composed of digitally manufactured components and inexpensive hardware. The Piccolo project includes Arduino and Processing libraries in order to use piccolo in a variety of ways such as moving autonomously or responding to sensors and data, whilst providing an accessible educational tool and new output for Processing sketches.
Both approaches have to do with the CNC one at a large scale and the other at a small scale. Both have obvious pros and cons. At the large scale creating a sharpie holder for the CNC to replace the router can create large prints for art galleries, and can be coupled with the typical use of the CNC routing out parts of the wood to have a dynamic of 2D and 3D. This could make your topography, for example, aesthetically more in tune with your design over all. Just as parametrics have a distinct clear defined output this new form of CNC application can also create the same impression. The con of the large scale is not completely understanding the CNC behind the retrofitting. On the other hand, with the small-scale approach, it is an affordable way of understanding the inner workings of the machine and at the same time familiarizing yourself with Arduino a free program for programing Piccolo as well as exploring mechanical/interactive design. Also being pocket-sized, it can customize smaller design needs such as business cards, the output scale of Piccolo I would set as a con since it is limited where as the retro-fitted CNC is not.

Final Board- 05 Larkins, Patel, Wilson


Final Board Draft- 05 Larkins, Patel, Wilson


Visualization- 05 Patel, Larkins, Wilson

Concept Proposal 05

P1_Anjali Patel_05

A chameleon’s most fascinating characteristic is its ability to change color. This is achieved because of their unique skin, which contains cells that rapidly expand and compress to let different incidents of light into their skin. They can use this characteristic to adapt to their surroundings whether it’s to ward off predators, a reaction to temperature, or even as camouflage. Just as a chameleon is able to adapt as shall my installation. Focusing on a specific input, the form could alter to the needs of the surroundings. Making this installation not only fit for the room in question, but also applicable to any surrounding, just as a chameleon functions. A chameleon is not confined to a specific environment, nor will this proposed installation.